Making HSE Classrooms Fun


With the rigors of TABE 11 and 12, budget cuts, or any of the viable reasons that can be generated, it is easy to become complacent in the classroom, but let’s think back to the time when you were sitting in the classroom as a student. Which classrooms became your reality as a teacher: the room with colorful displays that screamed for a student’s touch, blackboards with math problems that begged to be solved, or the rooms that were void of color or activity?

With so many barriers already present today with our students such as pregnancy, no jobs, and lack of transportation to class, how do we as teachers strive to reach a workable balance and rise above the chaos to create an atmosphere that is exciting and conducive to “fun” learning—learning that is guaranteed to bring students back into your classrooms again and again?

As a former high school teacher, one aspect of education I do remember is that students want to be engaged in fun activities: racing to the board to complete an equation, ringing the bell to answer a social studies jeopardy question, or simply having an answer acknowledged by the teacher is all part of creating an amazing learning atmosphere. How can this be achieved when teachers express that time is so limited and they are already over-worked? Students, of course, can be the answer. Teachers can be the catalysts while students can be the engine that drives the activity to success.

For example, while learning about social studies, one student can research 10 jeopardy facts about the Revolutionary War, another student can create 10 Q and A’s about the Civil War, and the third student can scramble 10 facts about World War II using the Achieve Common Core, but let’s not stop there. Let students create their own science display boxes since science facts can be quite confusing to the student. With five students, each must show differences between topics, such as, biotic and abiotic; meiosis and mitosis; endothermic and exothermic; producer and consumer; renewable and non-renewable energy, for example. More importantly, each student can share their display box to the other members of the class. In other words, this awesome learning technique becomes a win-win for the student and the teacher—thus creating a “fun” HSE classroom.​

Sandra F. Bowlus,

adult education teacher, River Valley Resources, Rising Sun, Indiana.
Sandra has been a presenter at the 2018 IACCE Conference and has created social and science jeopardy games for the classroom, and math quiz. See attachments for games. Sandra’s email is